Years ago, Florida went into labor and when her water broke, rhythm washed over the South. Florida screamed at the release, and showed her new native "dawtah" the range she would eventually use to belt out the lyrics of her life. The universe slapped the baby's bottom and her resulting cry wailed operatic, with undertones of jazz rallying around chords that were a different type of soul...a neo soul. Birds chimed in, silencing the chirping, since it now seemed more natural to "skat"...and on her last note, the baby girl reached out and slapped the universe back!"- "TERRI!", spoken word artist
For anyone who knows, truly knows, Antonia Jenae' this could easily be the actual legend of her birth. Her voice, her attitude, her "Southern Diva" persona is at once overwhelming and easily digestible. South Florida has given birth to many talents, but few are as proud of their southern roots as this accomplished Soul songwriter/singer/poet.
It is rare that a singer can simultaneously spark moments of an infectious flow throughout an audience, while feeding them with wisdom and touching their soul. This talent comes naturally to Antonia Jenae'. Perseverance, combined with an enthusiastic style and an insatiable appetite for success has earned Antonia the opportunity to open for some of the music industry's most renowned artists, including The Isley Brothers, Miles Jaye, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, and Vicki Winans.
Originally from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, Antonia's lifelong dream has been to write and perform. She is fueled by her ability to capture listeners with her charm and soulful voice. She was offered an opportunity to audition for Betty Wright, the legendary 70's Soul singer who is originally from Miami. The audition went well and Antonia got the job, with a slight deviation from the plan. She was instead offered an opportunity to provide backup for, a then unknown EMI artist, Joss Stone. Who knew that Joss would take the world by storm?! Antonia Jenae' was officially along for the ride. And what a ride it was! Since 2003, Antonia Jenae' (AJ) has been touring the world as Joss Stone's backup singer. Yearning for the spotlight, AJ worked hard writing and recording her debut, "For Medicinal Purposes" (FMP). With her first full-length project completed, Antonia Jenae' is preparing for her time in the spotlight.
Antonia wrote the entire "For Medicinal Purposes" project, while providing all the back-up vocals, making every track reflective of her unique lyrical style. For Medicinal Purposes offers a soul-filled mixture of Soul, Alternative Jazz, Funk and Blues rhythms. The versatile 5-octave songbird has a timeless reverence for the soul divas of yesteryear and pays homage to their "music with meaning" by fusing her own invigorating vocals with thought provoking messages. 4Cryinoutloud Productions' online magazine, "Outloud", reviewed Antonia's first EP "Left Of Center". Publisher Melissa Balthazar emphatically wrote, "Imagine the sound of Jill Scott, the vibe of Erykah Badu and the feel of a full body massage, and you get just one-fourth of the Antonia Jenae' experience." Armed with a spirit to succeed her debut, "For Medicinal Purposes" is just the beginning. On FMP, Antonia effortlessly solidified her place as the next big singer to come from South Florida since Betty Wright, who is now her "mama-mentor", as Antonia lovingly refers to her.
Some say talent isn't enough, and many careers have been spawned due to timing. Antonia Jenae' had such an opportunity to showcase her talent and shine, and shine she did. Antonia Jenae', with pizazz and charisma, took The World Famous Apollo Theater by storm! Antonia Jenae', along with three other participants who withstood the infamous Apollo Theatres' rowdy crowd, was selected from a group of twenty to return for a standoff. Singing an original song entitled "Freedom", played first by Demas on WHQT, Hot 105 in Miami, Florida, Antonia Jenae' garnered a great deal of respect. "We strongly advise our participants to do a standard, because 98% of the performers that do original songs have a difficult time," commented Vanessa Brown, the Talent Coordinator at The Apollo Theater. "Antonia Jenae's performance was an exception to the rule." Antonia Jenae' is the ONLY person in History to win at the Apollo with an original song.
Her resolved spirit has been demonstrated through her premiere skills at Tampax Total You Tour (FL), The Guinness Reggae Cari-Fest (NYC), The Roots & Cultural Festival (FL), and The Mango Festival (FL). Antonia Jenae' has also appeared at more intimate live music venues throughout South Florida such as Love Hour @ JAZID Bar & Lounge, Ellington's Jazz Club, Sax on the Beach, and O'Casey's to name a few. Antonia has also performed for various benefits in the community at The James L. Knight Center, The Old Dillard Museum, Barry University, Florida International University, University of Florida and Pro Player Stadium. As a new Harlem "transplant", Antonia is taking over NY, with performances at the world famous, Blue Note and The Cutting Room.
In a style of her own, Antonia Jenae' is mastering alternative soul music that taps into your spirit and generates contagious grooves that inspire an infectious head nod. Antonia selectively labels her style "Neofunkjazziness", a term coined from the collaboration of music genres that she loves; Soul, Funk and Jazz. Maybe that is why Felicia Pride of Black Reign News passionately states, "Antonia, I am a big fan of the fusion of musical genres, and sister, you do it so well!"
There is no better way to get inside the mind and heart of an artist than to examine their artistic expressions. Antonia Jenae' makes no bones about who she is and she is looking forward to a progressive career leading to her claiming her place with other musical "stars". Antonia Jenae's intent is to encourage a new mindset that incorporates the heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul while instilling honesty, integrity, and respect. From the bangles on her arms, to the open-toe slippers on her feet, Antonia Jenae' personifies style, fun and a free spirit; qualities certain to make her a star.
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